Tips for taking the SAT


Keshav Madhavan, Staff Writer

The SAT is one of the most important tests a student in high school takes. It’s score is a defining trait in your college applications and can even affect what scholarships you receive. Knowing tips for the SAT is key to getting a good score.

Judge where you are

It’s important to understand where you are academically so you can prepare yourself accordingly. Previous PSAT scores are a good first indicator but I’ve found it more effective to take a actual SAT practice exam. Although the PSAT scores do aid in showing you the type of questions, the pacing and length of the test aren’t very accurate. There are plenty of websites offering practice exams including ones from Collegeboard itself. I have found the ones directly from Collegeboard to be the most like the actual exam.

Understanding your pace of studying

Now that you have a estimate to what your SAT score is currently, the next step is to put together a pace plan. It’s important to look into scholarships and colleges your interested in to see what SAT score you have to achieve. After setting a goal for your SAT score, it’s time to actually start studying. There are plenty of books online that aid in studying including free videos delving into specific topics. Personally I have found khan academy to be the most helpful in studying. It is able to reads previous SAT and practice SAT exams and recommend an entire plan geared towards your SAT date.

There are a couple more tricks you can utilize during the SAT that may help to boost your score

Calculator Apps

If you find yourself particularly lacking in a topic for the Math section, there may be a calculator app that can help. To download the apps you will need a computer and a graphing calculator and a bit of patience. You can either type notes directly into your calculator or install a program made by someone else. I’m not so great in system of equation problems, so I found an app that essentially solves the equation for me. As long as your notes or apps are stored in your calculator, a test proctor will allow it.

Guessing on a question

If you find yourself unable to answer a question, there may be a way to increase your success rate. In the reading section, try finding where the question is referring to in the text. If words or phrases match up to one of the answer choices, it is likely to be the answer. The Math is a bit more theoretical. If you find two answer choices very similar to each other, it is very likely to be one of the two; so guessing one of those two will give you a likely 50% chance of getting it correct.